Professor S. Coker
HOOTERS CASE STUDY
Although known for its spicy chicken wings and its mascot, Hooters has, for more than 27 years, been represented by its attractive, beautiful Hooters Girls. Recently, the company has been facing a lawsuit raised by two of its waitresses in Michigan, Cassandra Smith and Leeanne Convery, who got fired following a gain of weight. The two girls are suing the company for discrimination. Many questions arises from such a lawsuit. Indeed, is being fired for being too heavy akin to being fired because of age, religion, sex, color, or national origin ? Is Hooters’ action illegal under state and federal law ? Is bona fide occupational qualification a good defense for Hooters ? Since Leeanne Convery was pregnant and has had problems to maintain her weight, could she possibly have a legal case according to the Americans with Disability Act ?
In the beginning, one will not deny the fact that firing someone for physical reasons is a disparate treatment. From this point of view, Hooters will obviously lose the lawsuit. However, Hooters acknowledges that « the Hooters Girl has become a phenomenon of her own » and that the « Hooters Girls are the very essence of Hooters ». Furthermore, all American knows for a fact that a major part of Hooters’ customers is masculine due to the waitresses’ attractive physical appearance. As a matter of fact, it now looks obvious that physical appearance is an important factor in this company when it comes to hiring waitstaff. Therefore, Hooters’ action of firing these two women may not be illegal under state and federal law.
After being sued for such reasons, Hooters could raise a valid defense stating that it fired the waitresses according to a bona fide occupational qualification, which is an « exception in employment law that permits sex, age, religion, and the like to be used when making employment decisions, but only if they are « reasonably necessary...
Cited: Williams, Chuck. MGMT5. United States : Erin Joyner, 2012. Print
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. « The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ». Boston University. 03/26/2013. Web.
Hooters. « About Hooters ».Hooters. 03/26/2013. Web.
Really appreciate the way the class goes even though I was disappointed by my midterm grade. I did not expect the test to be so close to the content of the book. However, I now know how to study for the next test and am confident that I will get a better grade. Also, I am kind of stressing out about the white paper project, for it looks like a pretty important project that could follow us for a lifetime and be a part of our résumé. However, I am confident about the topic my partner and I chose and really feel like we could get a good grade out of it. Air France seems to be a really interesting topic and the fact that we have my father, who is an airfraft pilot for the company, as a support is really supportive.
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